NSMW 23 - Budgeting
National Student Money Week is a campaign run by the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA). NASMA has released an abundance of useful information and resources which Student Funding Support have collated for you below. We've also included some additional useful tools that we have found and think will be useful for students!
For most students, moving away to university is the first time they’ve had to budget, and it can seem quite daunting. Money Helper has put together a Beginners Guide to Managing Your MoneyLink opens in a new window which is a great place to start.
There are many different ways you can set out your budget – it can be as simple as using pen and paper! We have created a Getting Started with BudgetingLink opens in a new window guide which takes you through the steps you need to start your budget.
If you prefer a digital approach, you could try our Warwick Budget CalculatorLink opens in a new window which is designed with students in mind. Alternatively, Money Saving Expert has a free downloadable budgeting spreadsheetLink opens in a new window which includes links to articles on how to manage your money.
Once you’ve worked out your budget it’s important to review it regularly to check it is still working for you. There is a section on our Getting Started with BudgetingLink opens in a new window guide to help you do this.If you find you are often going over budget you could try making small changes to help. MSE has a Demotivator ToolLink opens in a new window which shows you how much you spend on small expenses over a year. For example, if you buy a regular takeaway coffee from Café Nero every weekday this would cost you £512 over a year! NASMA also has some ideas of small sacrificesLink opens in a new window you can make for big rewards. Once you’ve worked out where you could save money check out MSE’s How to Stop SpendingLink opens in a new window article for the next steps.
A good way to manage your money is to make your bank account work for you. It can be very tempting to start spending when your student loan or bursary payment comes into your account! To make it easier, you could open a second account where you can transfer your weekly budget, so you are managing a smaller amount of money.A good option for this second account is an app-based or online bank. These are usually quick and easy to open and you control the account through an app on your phone. The benefits are that you get notifications about your spending and they often include budgeting tools that allow you to track your spending on various expenditures. Have a look at Save The Student’s article on the Best App-Based and Online Bank AccountsLink opens in a new window to find one that suits you.
Having some money saved can help you manage your money and take the pressure off if the unexpected happens. Even a small emergency fund will help.
You could try using an automatic savings app. These use AI to review your bank account to work out how much you can afford to save and then transfers this money automatically to a savings account. You can usually set the level of saving and can pause automatic savings if you know you have a big bill due. Save the Student has written a useful article on the best savings appsLink opens in a new window.You may find your bank account allows you to set up different savings pots where you can save for specific things. Having a goal to save for can be motivating. There is a section on our Getting Started with BudgetingLink opens in a new window guide which allows you to set yourself a savings goal and track your savings towards that goal.